Sustainable Ocean Exploitation

Research Line 1 Tools

BLUETOOLS – Tools and
Technologies for management
of Deep Sea resource exploitation

BLUETOOLS research line aims to tackle the key issues raised above using an Holistic approach. It will develop state-of-the-art technologies to foster environmentally friendly deep sea floor monitoring, exploitation and exploration, i.e., new robotic technologies and solutions, novel radio wireless communications solution enabling high-bandwidth and real-time underwater communications, Underwater Wireless Power Transfer, Underwater Visual System Development, Dynamic Navigation Underwater Infrastructure, maritime Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy, new biotechnological applications.

These new technological solutions will be combined with the development of a framework for the friendly environmental extraction of deep-sea non-living resources, including, governance, legal instruments and Management Practices, Policy Recommendations and Standardization of tools and methods for Risk and impact assessment.

WP1 – Exploration and exploitation tools and methods
·        Definition of new underwater wireless channel models that can be used to study, analyse, and simulate underwater radio communications links
·        Design of novel radio wireless communications solution enabling high-bandwidth and real-time underwater communications that go beyond current low-bandwidth, high latency acoustic communications
·        Design of new multi-hop underwater communications solution for extended coverage, including new routing and physical topology control mechanism that will enable the creation of a new type of multi-hop networks, named Underwater Backhaul Networks (UBN).
·        Design of new aggregation algorithms that make messages idempotent, so that they can be safely re-transmitted

WP2 Perception, Navigation, Awareness
·         Develop methods for creating a Dynamic Navigation Underwater Infrastructure to support remote awareness capabilities in underwater mining operations
·         Real time grade analysis (LIBS) for evaluation of ore grade (atomic composition) and chemical composition of deep sea mineral samples

WP3 Risk and impact assessment of deep sea floor mining
·         High –pressure laboratory ecotoxicological experiments to test and simulate the impact of multi stressors from mining activities (e.g. sediment laden plumes, trace elements, noise and light contamination) in deep sea  marine life.
·         Recovery experiments to test the resilience and recovery of selected deep sea taxa after multi stressors’ expore.

WP 4 – Modeling tools
·         Modelling of time- and spatial-evolution of physical and chemical parameters during mining operations – towards the development of an early warning tool.
·         Analysing Ocean Data

WP 5- Marine Biotechnology “under pressure”
·         Genomics of deep-sea marine life adaptations: pinpointing novel bioactive metabolites and their biotechnological relevance
·         Deep-sea marine life molecules: identifying the structure and function of bioactive metabolites for new biotechnological applications.

WP 6 – Legal instruments for deep sea mining resources exploitation and exploration
·         Scrutinize the current legal systems applicable to mining
·         Produce recommendations for new legal solutions framed in the International Seabed Authority regulations for the effective and sustainable management of deep sea mining and in the comparative law